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  • Giving Money To Artists On The Street...do You?


    The other day, during an after dinner stroll in the Village, my husband and I came upon a young AA boy playing the violin...beautifully. My husband and I immediately started fishing for our money, and we stood for a while to listen to him play. The boy's father was standing near by, and we engaged him in conversation. He told us, amongst other things, that his son is 14, has been playing for 7 years, and they are trying to raise money to buy a good violin - which costs about $2000. That prompted my husband to add $20 to the $7 we'd already contributed.

    Afterward, I commented to my husband that had the boy been white, I may have stopped for a moment, but would have continued on without contributing. To me, that isn't something MamawJoibly uncommon. While my husband agreed with me, I am now wondering if that thinking is wrong of me.



    Nope, its your money.

    I have analyzed and re-analyzed myself over and over again and everytime I come up finding that I am who I am and somethings won't change.

    I think we all get caught up in the struggle to be politically correct sometimes, but its not that serious. You are not OBLIGATED to give to every person equally. Remember you are giving freely, which means you don't have to do it in the first place.

    Certain things strike a cord within us and those things we react to. If you see a little white boy who moves you and you want to give to him, then go ahead and do so. But don't feel obligated or unmoral either way. besides....it is CHARITY, not required at all. Just try to live your life the best way through and through. All else is secondary.


    Guilty! (I'm an artist, for gawds sake, and I can't help it).

    If my Spirit tells me someone is up to something shady, I might pass on by but I don't think there will ever come a day when I can say 'never'.

    My father (and now my husband) have gotten on me time and again about doing it and my father labeled me 'the biggest marshmallow in the world' when I was a little thing.

    He was gentle about it and suggested, instead of giving money, that I go buy the person a meal and give it to them and explained that some people were husters and looking to feed their alcohol or drug addictions.

    I figure if someone is hustlin', that's on them and not me and I'd rather give than not cuz they really may be in need.

    In the case of the little boy needing a violin, were I moved, I might ask the father to tell me the store where I could make a contribution towards it's purchase and send a check there (though gaming on that is still possible).


    ^^^In this case, I don't think they were running a scam... There's just no way to fake the beautiful music coming out of that violin!

    In general, I don't give money to "bums" on the street. Though my husband will. And not just some change. He'll give them $5, and when I ask him why, he answers, "What are they going to do with 50àƒ‚à‚¢? At least they can buy a meal with $5!" I then remind him of his over-generosity.

    Lady-N-Black, you make a good point, in that sometimes we are too concerned with being pc. It's not as though I would tell a white boy that I'm not goign to give him money because he's white!


    Afterward, I commented to my husband that had the boy...

    first of all, i think it's perfectly normal to feel more sensitivity toward a particular person simply because of your affinity to him. you didn't know the boy. but he is black like you, you were impressed with his talent, so without thinking, you helped him out.

    now, the fact that you admit that a white boy of equal talent would not have held your attention as long, and wouldn't have received a donation from you, is something you need to contemplate. when we second-guess ourselves, sometimes it's because of guilt or regret. maybe you asking yourself this question now means that there is a lesson for you to be learned from your pattern of thinking and behaving toward others. your soul-searching may result in you discovering that you need to be giving to all people and not just certain people. or your soul-searching my result in you finding that your pattern of giving and attention to others is perfectly fine.

    at any rate, don't beat yourself up about it.

    i would only raise an eyebrow at you if there had been a black boy and white boy playing together, equally talented and promising, yet you only stood near the black boy, appreciating his music, and gave nothing to the white boy. that would be just plain _headshake: .


    ^^^^Oh, I would definitely appreciate the talent of any 14-year-old violinist.

    I can note that my husband, who is white, felt the same about not having given had the boy been white, without my having to explain.

    I guess I (in particular) was so moved by the display because of some of the discussions of late regarding Black children dumbing themselves down in order to seem cool and not appear to be trying to "act white". I felt such a sense of pride in this boy, and what he represents.

    Aaah, I'm glad I posted this. Along with the responses, my own replies adn thinking it through a bit more, I'm feeling much better!


    well cocoa i would have did what u did....it's natural and completely understandable

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